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The Dialogic Learning Weekly #150

We made it to 150 weekly newsletters - welcome along. In this issue I have three challenging question
The Dialogic Learning Weekly
The Dialogic Learning Weekly #150
By Tom Barrett • Issue #150 • View online
We made it to 150 weekly newsletters - welcome along. In this issue I have three challenging questions about developing new ideas and leading innovative projects.
For each question I have also shared three key takeaways to consider. Use these provocations to consider how you might develop your original ideas into actions that can make a difference.

Do you have permission?
Everyone in education is talking about ‘agency’ at the moment. Let’s look at the versions of agency we might encounter:
Proxy agency – rely on others to act.
Collective agency – coordinate with others to secure what cannot be accomplished in isolation.
Personal agency – act with intention, forethought, self-reactiveness, self-reflectiveness to secure a desired outcome.
Which do you most commonly experience during innovation processes? I would hazard a guess that Collective Agency is the most frequent experience. This is due to the collaborative nature of new ideas and attempting to make them a reality. 
If we are relying on other people, we have very little ability to act with intention and purpose.
Implementing ideas may still be waiting for the permission from others. Consider how you might un-couple teams and colleagues enough to have a more open environment for innovation.
Protocols and Practices
  • Establish how much agency a team has from the beginning.
  • Reinforce the permissive culture within the project.
  • Be authentic about follow through and implementing ideas.
Do you care?
In teaching, we often talk about how our relationships are at the centre of what we do and how to engage students on an emotional level. Deep down this is true for creating the right conditions for innovation and creativity.
It is literally neurobiologically impossible to think deeply about things that you don’t care about. (Dr. Immordino-Yang)
So our neurobiology dictates terms when it comes to purposeful work. Regardless of the Physical, Temporal or Cognitive Space, unless we care, we will always be working against a neurobiological tide. Explore some of these actions:
Protocols and Practices
  • Take your time to connect to the wider purpose of your work.
  • Use empathy activities (like shadowing) to connect with others. 
  • Regularly re-establish the emotional connection to the task.
Do you have time?
Time is a critical aspect of creating the right conditions for change and new ideas to flourish.
It is not just about the amount of time we have but the way we use that time. Too much haste is an emotional block to creativity and will likely push people away from exploring original ideas.
Think carefully about how the pace of thinking and work is being used to suit the needs of different people. Vary the pace to allow everyone the opportunity to share ideas and develop original concepts.
John Cleese explains the connection between time, pace and creative thinking:
The open mode is a relaxed, expansive, and less purposeful mode in which we’re probably more contemplative, more inclined to humour (which always accompanies a wider perspective), and, consequently, more playful. It’s a mood in which curiosity for its own sake can operate because we’re not under pressure to get a specific thing done quickly. We can play, and that is what allows our natural creativity to surface.
Protocols and Practices
  • Explore different times of day for development work.
  • Protect longer blocks of time you have set aside for deeper work.
  • Look at the medium to long-term provision of quality project time.
~
I am grateful you have chosen to subscribe to the newsletter. Have a great weekend.
See you next week for another newsletter.
~ Tom 
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Tom Barrett

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